The banks are providing £150k of sponsorship to FranchisingWorks, a programme which is being piloted in Greater Manchester. The programme's core aim is to reduce unemployment by creating new businesses and jobs through franchising.
FranchisingWorks is part of The Shaftesbury Partnership and was launched in Manchester earlier this year. The programme is backed by NESTA , the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA), and Manchester's New Economy.
During the course off the next eight months, the pilot aims to provide 50 unemployed local residents with the opportunity to become a self employed franchisee. Each candidate accepted onto the FranchisingWorks programme goes through a structured training programme designed to equip them with the key business skills needed to run a franchise.
FranchisingWorks also provides financial support to buy franchise licences for those successful candidates who are unable to cover the full cost themselves. Once the new business becomes profitable the candidate can buy the licence from FranchisingWorks and repay the initial investment.
One of the first candidates to complete the programme was Stockport-based Colin Hughes, who was made redundant in November 2010 after a 25-year career in various corporate roles. With FranchisingWorks' support and training, Colin has started up in business VIP Bin Cleaning, a wheelie bin cleaning service for domestic and commercial customers in South Manchester (see separate case study).
Graeme Jones, Head of Franchising for NatWest & RBS: "As the leading bank for franchising in the UK, we are delighted to support this initiative that will help a number of local people get back into work by starting their own franchise. By helping to reduce unemployment and create new businesses the FranchisingWorks programme has the potential to create a lasting and positive impact in Greater Manchester."
Simon McNeill-Ritchie, Founder and Managing Director of FranchisingWorks: "Franchising is a proven way to create local, sustainable jobs. Thanks to the support we have received from NatWest & RBS and others we have already been able to help a number of people in Greater Manchester out of unemployment by starting up their own businesses. And as their businesses grow, I expect to see further job opportunities emerge for other local people."